Drawing on writings within the CSCW community and on recent social theory, this paper proposes that the adoption of speech act theory as a foundation for system design carries with it an agenda of discipline and control over organization members' actions. I begin with a brief review of the language/action perspective introduced by Winograd, Flores and their colleagues, focusing in particular on the categorization of speakers' intent. I then turn to some observations on the politics of categorization and, with that framework as back-ground, consider the attempt, throughthe coordinator, to implement a technological system for intention-accounting within organizations. Finally, I suggest the implications of the analysis presented in the paper for the politics of CSCW systems design.
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Suchman, L. Do categories have politics?. Comput Supported Coop Work 2, 177–190 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00749015
- Coordination technologies
- organizational communications
- speech act theory
- systems design